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Planning your tours

Designing your own tour itineraries for Southeast Asian destinations:
Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia,
Thailand, Singapore, and Hong Kong

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Vietnam's Destinations
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Further Afield

There are three main elements involved in designing your Vietnam vacation itinerary - the destinations you want to visit, the hotels you prefer, and the transport that you would like. Sometimes these will be determined by factors beyond our control - domestic flight times, accommodation availability, or the prevailing weather, for example. Generally, though, we'll be able to offer options.

The places to visit:
We base our suggestions for destinations mainly upon your preferences, our local knowledge and their location in relation to other places- we can supply you with our descriptions and judgements about places that interest you. Your Haivenu tour operator will always check to make sure that information is up to date. We pay careful attention to what is involved in travelling from place to place - the availability of suitable transport and the conditions of roads, for example - in order to minimise your travelling time in your vacations in Vietnam.

Hotels and accommodation:
Wherever possible, we check hotels personally and try to choose the best for your price and purposes. We can book any hotel you wish - we don't have 'special' deals that favour some hotels in particular - and we always arrange the best room available at the level you choose.

Means of transport:
The transport infrastructure in Vietnam is comparatively limited. International-standard roads are rare, and the railway is single track. For many places, travel by road is the only practical way of getting around. We'll design your itinerary to provide the best available options - your tour operator will supply you with distances and/or estimated journey times. When a prolonged car journey is unavoidable, we try to break it up with brief visits to places of interest en-route. We sometimes recommend an overnight sleeper train journey for long distances - not only is it cheaper than flying, but it also adds another dimension to travel in Vietnam.

Working out the price

There are also three main components that affect the cost of your tour or holiday - the number of people in your party, how long you want to stay, and what level of accommodation you want. We always aim for the best value - not just money, but also time. Saving a day by flying or travelling by overnight train effectively extends your time in Vietnam.

The people in your party:
In simple terms, the more people in a group means less money per person, because the cost of transport, guides and so on is shared between a larger number of people. Whether there is an odd or even number is also important. There is very little single accommodation in Vietnam, so individuals are obliged to book a double room without a compensating reduction. Some hotels offer 'family' rooms, or provide a third bed for a supplement, but this is by no means universal. Your Haivenu tour operator will advise you about what is available and the cost.

How long you want to stay:
Obviously, the more days you spend in Vietnam, the higher the cost. We try to plan your itinerary without early 'check-ins' and late departures from hotels to avoid charges for an additional half or full days. When it is unavoidable, we usually try to build in an opportunity to 'freshen up' and rest rather than extending the booking period.

The level of accommodation:
We use our own grading system, and will provide you with information about particular hotels on request. When we recommend a hotel, we do so because we consider it provides value for money. If we suggest it because it is the only viable option, we will tell you.


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